State Watch

MSU professor recalls shooting: ‘The images are very vivid and clear in my head’

A Michigan State University professor recalled the chilling and gruesome details of the shooting at the university that took the lives of three students and injured several others earlier this week, saying “the images are very vivid and clear in my head.”

Marco Díaz-Muñoz, whose classroom was the first targeted by the gunman, was teaching a class on the Lansing, Michigan, campus when the masked suspect entered and opened fire, shooting at least 15 rounds, Díaz-Muñoz said in an interview with CNN.

“I could see this figure, and it was so horrible because when you see someone who’s totally masked, you don’t see their face, you don’t see their hands — it was like seeing a robot,” Díaz-Muñoz said. “I don’t know how long he stood there.”

The suspected shooter, 43-year-old Anthony McRae, also fired shots at the MSU student union, before fleeing the scene. McRae was later found dead after being confronted by police from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

While Díaz-Muñoz held a door closed, others tried to break windows to try and escape the classroom. Others refused to leave, according to the professor, instead assisting their classmates that had been shot.

“They were trying to cover the wounds [of the injured] with their hands so they didn’t bleed to death,” he recalled. “They were heroic because they could have escaped through the windows. They stayed, helping their classmates.”

“There was a horrendous scene. I’ve never seen so much blood,” Díaz-Muñoz added.

Two of the students in his classroom, Arielle Anderson and Alexandria Verner, died. A third student, Brian Fraser, was killed in the student union.

“These two kids that died were just nice kids, serious students, both of them,” Díaz-Muñoz said.

Other students — including two who survived similar incidents at their respective high schools — have also weighed in, saying the system “failed them.”

Despite the trauma, he said he does want to continue teaching.

While he may harbor what some have termed “survivor’s guilt” after the shooting, he explained that he wants to use the tragedy as a way to try and affect change at a broader level, hoping to advocate for gun control. 

“I think if those senators or lawmakers saw what I saw, not just hear statistics, they would be shamed into action,” he said.

—Updated Friday at 10:10 a.m.

Tags Gun control Michigan state shooting

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